The Episcopal Church in Arkansas, Communiqué

The Episcopal Church in Arkansas, Communiqué

The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, Weekly Communique

Communiqué #483 February 23, 2012


A Video and Message from Bishop Benfield

Diocesan Convention and the Top Ten

Watch the Top Ten video

The 2012 Diocesan Convention: If you were not there last week, then be certain to ask someone who was. It was a very good convention. Almost every congregation in Arkansas was represented, and people went away with the message that one of the most important things we can do is welcome the stranger in our midst.

What you will hopefully see soon in your congregation is discussion of a small booklet called “Top Ten Ways to Welcome the Stranger.” (Watch a short video about the inspiration for the Top Ten.) In the booklet are discussions of everything from getting your church ready for guests to how to follow up with them after they visit. You can also go online to and take the Top Ten Audit to see how clearly your own congregation sees itself in welcoming the stranger.

At the convention Eucharist the congregation gave $883 in offerings. Convention decided that this money, placed in the bishop’s discretionary fund, is to be used to help congregations welcome the stranger. Within the next week I will announce specifically how this money will be used.

My thanks to everyone who made convention a success, including all the volunteers from St. Mark’s Church in Little Rock and Wanda Dunwoody, the convention coordinator.


Bishop's signature





A Top Ten Event

Music in Small Congregations Workshop, with Marilyn Keiser

Saturday, March 17, at St. Luke’s, North Little Rock

Marilyn Keiser Marilyn Keiser, nationally known teacher in music for small congregations, will lead a workshop on Saturday, March 17, at St. Luke’s Church in North Little Rock, from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. The first session will focus on music in the small church, and the second session on playing service music in your church.

This event is free, but those who wish to attend must reserve a spot. Please email Adam Savacool or call 870-692-9517 before noon on Wednesday, March 14.

On the previous evening (Friday, March 16), Keiser will present an organ concert at First Presbyterian Church in Little Rock at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Lenten Book Study at St. Michael’s, Little Rock

‘Love Wins,’ by Rob Bell

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock is hosting a Lenten book study on Wednesday nights in March, from 7:15–8:45 p.m. The group will read “Love Wins: a Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived,” a recent bestseller by Rob Bell. The book study will be led by the Rev. Patrick Murray. Sign up now.

“A Journey to India” Lecture Series

Tuesdays, March 6–April 3, at St. Margaret’s, Little Rock

This lecture series will be five consecutive Tuesdays, March 6–April 3. The first week will be an introductory session by the Rev. Dr. Christoph Keller; then there will be four weeks of reflections and photographs by the Rev. Susan Sims Smith about her four journeys to India. Classes will be 7–8:30 p.m., each Tuesday evening, at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 20900 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock. The series is free and open to the public. Childcare will be provided with email notification prior to each session.  

Celtic Quiet Day

Saturday, March 10, at St. Luke’s, North Little Rock

For the Celts, there was no separation between praying and living; praying and working flowed into one another. From 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on March 10, the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, we will model this life of prayer and living together. In the morning we will practice Centering Prayer, then have a quiet lunch of soup, bread, and dessert. In the afternoon, we will walk St. Luke’s outdoor labyrinth, and then conclude our quiet time together with a Celtic Eucharist. Throughout the day we will hear Celtic music in harp and voice. For more information email Joanna Seibert.

St. Patrick’s Day Brunch for Women

March 17, at St. Michael’s, Little Rock

On Saturday, March 17, women of the Central Convocation of Episcopal Church will gather at 9:30 a.m. for a brunch. There will be food, mimosas,
entertainment, and door prizes. The cost is $5. Please RSVP by email by March 10.

Episcopal Cursillo Leaders Workshop

April 20–22, at Camp Mitchell

If you would like to become more involved in Cursillo, you are invited to this weekend of discussions, talks, worship and singing, eating and celebrating. The cost is $150, which will include housing, meals and materials. Registration forms are available online. Registration deadline is March 10. For more information, call Sue Hood at 501-922-4800, or B.J. Roy at 870-625-3985.


That’s the number of churches that are sending youth to Senior High Winterstar. That’s 33% of all the churches in the diocese. To find out more about Winterstar and other youth events, visit the Arkansas EYC web page.

Upcoming Events
Feb. 24–26 Senior High Winterstar
Feb. 26 Canon visits Trinity, Van Buren
March 2–4 Junior High Winterstar
March 4 Bishop visits St. John’s, Harrison
March 11 Bishop visits St. Andrew’s, Roger
March 11 Canon visits St. Andrew’s, Mtn. Home
March 13 Fresh Start
March 13 Bishop visits Good Shepherd, Forrest City (7–9 p.m.)
March 24 Andrew Hybl, Transitional Diaconate Ordination, Trinity Cathedral, LR
View the full Diocesan Calendar.

If you have questions or would like to submit information about an event for publication in the Communiqué, email Beth Matthews in the bishop's office or call 501-372-2168.

© 2012 The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, All rights reserved.

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